5 Minutes With...

Ritz from Adjust Media

We caught up with the Head Graphic Designer at Adjust Media on a cheeky break in the office to find out about his love of design and his penchant for chocolately cereal… 

How did you get involved in Adjust Media? 

I never intended to get involved with a company like Adjust Media; it was more chance than anything. In Chris’ last life he was probably a pig set to look for truffles in the forest – he found me before I really knew I had any design talent and teased it out of me. He knew my capabilities far before I did. I discovered a lot of love for the work I was doing, particularly branding exercises and was eventually rewarded with a full-time position.

First thing you designed? 

As much as it reveals about my childhood, I would, as an 8 year old, draw football shirts for my beloved Newcastle United.

How many hours go into what you do? 

The time spent grows daily, without fail. The longer I work for Adjust Media, the greater the application for my kind of work. It’s turning into a bit of a problem.

I now find that there is rarely a moment in the day where I won’t be at least thinking about individual projects and how best to achieve them. You’d think sleep might form some sort of escape but thanks to uni and Adjust Media, whatever sleep pattern I had has now disappeared.

What cereal do you normally have for breakfast? 

I suppose that I should remain impartial, but on a matter so personal I’m going to have to reveal my passion for Krave. Should the opportunity come along to work for Kellogg’s, in exchange for a lifetime supply. I’d gladly work free of charge.

What tips would you give for aspiring graphic designers? 

Focus on the creative side of what you do and don’t get bogged down with the rest. I was very lucky in finding others who excel in the business-side of things. I always thought that using GIMP (an excellent freeware programme, similar in many ways to Photoshop), as opposed to Photoshop, would be a hindrance. In fact it was a great place to start and it paved the way to my work at Adjust Media and I still get a lot of satisfaction from using the programme.

Aside from graphic design, what are you passionate about? 

I have a passion for obscure marketing campaigns, the story of Obermutten perhaps my favourite to date. I get a lot of pleasure from discovering music, sharing artists amongst friends and seeing these DJs play at dingy warehouse nights.

Favourite app? 

Vooza. What it does – I couldn’t tell you, the company themselves seem very unwilling. Yet, it is certainly a project of some interest.

Best invention of the 21st century? 

The student cheeseburger deal.

What’s on the cards for Ritz in the next 12 months? 

A holiday, no matter how unlikely that seems. In all seriousness, I will be moving to Mannheim, in Germany, where I will be continuing uni work as well as design. I’ve travelled all over Germany and have a sufficient grasp of the language to now move out there. It’s all very exciting. Hopefully we’ll find some great international clients and I can introduce the team to the world of Currywurst when they come visit.

5 Minutes With...

Chris from Adjust Media

We caught up with the director of Adjust Media over his morning coffee to find out a bit more about Adjust and how it all began..

Chris From Adjust Media

So. Tell me a bit more about Adjust Media and how it started. 

After many, many takeaways from my favourite spot GBT in Leamington, I offered to make them a website and handle social media to entice students. Sales boomed and I realised that there was a demand for web design in the local area so we formed the company, operating solely through Twitter for a month. It grew organically, I found Ritz, our graphic designer, at a party – he saw the amateur Adjust Media logo I was building on Publisher and he said ‘I can do better than that’. And lo and behold, he came back 20 minutes later with the logo we have today. I didn’t let him go after that.

Have you always wanted to own your own business? 

Yes.

Why? 

I love the start-up culture. Being involved in Real Uni Guide, a start-up that provides personalised university search function, gave me a real taste for business. All the excitement and passion of seeing your own ideas materialise… I love the flexibility of it; that I can choose to take 2 days off, but I also work 9 to 9 when I want to. It means my girlfriend doesn’t moan because I can work remotely and take time off.

Are you a calculated or snap-decision-making kind of guy? 

It may appear like a snap decision, but it’s actually usually calculated.

What’s the hardest business decision you’ve ever made? 

The decision I thought would be hardest was letting go of some of the company. But when it came to it, giving equity to Ritz and Warren was one of the easiest decisions I’ve made.

Hmmm sounds jammy. Do you guys ever fight? 

No, never. We get moody when we’re hungry but that’s about it.

What are you most proud of about Adjust Media?

It was one of my founding business beliefs that business should be kept personal. I never wanted to outsource work to other companies and that’s something we’ve stuck by; everything by Adjust Media is in-house and we’re very proud of that fact.

Where would you like to be in 10 years time?

Doing what we’re doing but on a grander scale. I’d love to be in position where we’re consulting with some of the industry greats like Nike and Red Bull too.

What technology could you not live without? 

My iPhone – it just makes life so easy. Social media, email, phone, it means everything is always accessible and I’m easily contactable.. Adjust Media would not have been possible without it.. That has it’s own problems though. No phone at dinner or my girlfriend gets pouty.

Favourite app? 

Netflix - I use it wherever I’m bored and it helps me switch off.

What’s the best invention of the 21st Century? 

Invisible cars. Google self-driving cars. Google self-driving invisible cars.

What 3 tips would you give to anyone wanting to start their own business? 

  1. Work hard
  2. Find the right people.
  3. Keep an eye on costs.

Any last words? 

Go for it. I turned down lots of internships and jobs these last few years to really forge the way with Adjust Media; it was a risk but it paid off. I’m never happier than when seeing our ideas come to life or satisfying a client with a design brief; so whatever your idea is, if you’re willing to put in the time and energy, go out and do it.

Adjust Asks...

What tech would you take on a desert island?

Angelica from the Adjust Media team tells us what she’d take on a desert island and why….

There are many things I’d take on a desert island with me. For pleasure, I’d take George Clooney, for intellectual stimulation, Freud or Alain de Boton, for sustenance I’d bring a smoothie machine and for everything in between, I’d take the apps on my iPad.

Angelica & Her iPad

There is no doubt in my mind that the iPad is the best invention of our time; you’re about as likely to find one of the Adjust Media team out without one as Miley Cyrus in public without make-up on. But why? For me, app technology and the possibilities that have sprung from their creation, have completely changed our social landscape; how we interact with each other, with brands, with the world, is evolving. This tiny thing, wrought from metal and plastic, seemingly so innocuous, has the power to revolutionize how the whole world speaks; it’s made the world smaller, chattier and much, much more exciting.

The app world has opened up inconceivable possibilities; everything, from contactless payment to calorie counting, has been thought and processed into this tiny functionality. There are news apps to keep our dinner party conversation flowing as smoothly as the Pinot Grigio; one can flick between The Independent, The Guardian, Prospect, Grazia, Heat and, if you’re anything like me, pull out the right one for the right audience (Starbucks is a place for the latter, the Metropolitan Line in rush hour for the former). There are apps to make train journeys more enjoyable – pet horses we can nurture and feed on our phones, frogs with silly voices for gimmicky birthday messages, car racing games to allow us to live out our Lewis Hamilton fantasy. There are apps to make our lives more productive – to do lists, shopping lists, reminders, calendars. One of my favourite apps, Lemon, allows you to scan invoices and create spreadsheets about how much money you’re spending on what each month. I never even knew I had a penchant for buying exotic fruit.

And it’s not just time with ourselves that is improved. Apps brings companies and brands closer to their consumer; mobile banking, online shopping, train tickets, flight bookings – everything seems so much easier, so much more within reach. And if services aren’t better, it’s not like there aren’t places to shout about it – with 900m users on Facebook, 500m on Twitter and 150m on LinkedIn, the tablet computer has created a myriad of open spaces for public and consumer dialogue. So not only can companies speak to us through apps, but, we, the consumer, can speak right back at them.

And of course all this technology, I think, has imbued the modern city-dweller with a sense of adventure; it’s emboldened us as living, breathing humans, willing to seize new experiences and opportunities. Perhaps it’s consumer psychology, but thanks to social media, voucher websites, online reviews and listings, our lives are richer. We’re more willing to try that new restaurant in Soho, the pop-up in Shoreditch or the random art gallery in Bristol – call it safety in numbers, but, somehow, the public annunciation of culture has made us seize it. The emerging world is presented to us, on screen, in perfect LCD resolution and we seem to be saying yes, yes to seizing the day, yes to consuming life, yes to experience, enjoyment and excitement.

So what would I take on a desert island? Well, once the novelty of George Clooney’s perfectly-rounded derriere has faded, I’d want to stay in touch with the world – its stories, its trends, its tastes. And the only place you can get all of that, and a pet horse called Sparkles is on the iPad… Which is why Adjust love developing apps for clients, because we’re not just buying into a new product, we’re forging our way into a whole new world.